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Cowboys & Aliens

Great summer movie. Did some critics really see this?
Kudos to Jon Favreau and a wonderful cast for making this one of the best summer films in a while. I know the premise of this movie is hard for some people to swallow. It's not as realistic as humans that fall in love with vampires and werewolves, but it will do in a pinch. Everyone knows the premise already. The acting is great all around and the effects are spot on. Forget the old adult in you and go as a child with a wild imagination. You will enjoy the hell out of this film. The thing that made this film special to me were the back stories of Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig. Interesting that the hatred of these men could be put aside for a singular cause.


Who Are These Critics?
What a beautiful movie Elizabethtown is. Someday I would love to sit next to some famous critic and watch a movie like Elizabethtown together. And then discuss what they see through their eyes that I see differently through mine. This is a movie I liked so much that I got a hive on my forehead. I am no teenybopper. I'm 57 years old. I am a movie fanatic. Have been since I was 6 years old. So that's a lot of movie going. Never have I read such Luke warm reviews in my life for such a gem of a picture. Now, we all have our opinions, and I'm all for that. But have critics become so cynical about life and the roads we sometimes have to travel down to find happiness? The cast is great. The music and production are great, also. No matter what your age, go and see this movie. It is about love....of life. Even as death hangs in the background. Elizabethtown was shown and the Toronto Film Festival in a much longer unfinished version. 20 minutes were cut during editing. I would love to see those 20 minutes on the DVD.

Fantastic Four

Forget the bad reviews. Good summer movie.
Folks, this isn't Shakespere. It is just an enjoyable summer movie. It was better than either Spiderman movies. But not as good as Batman Begins. I almost didn't go to this flick because of the negative reviews. Luckily my wife dragged me to the movie. The cast was very good, and this flick had a lot of humor and attitude. Michael Chiklis was wonderful as the Thing. I have a feeling the next movie will be even better. There's not a ton of action, but what's there is very well done. When I was a kid we never read any reviews. We just went to the movies and enjoyed ourselves. We miss a lot of good movies because we rely on some else's opinion. Of course that's just my opinion. Enjoy the movie.

War of the Worlds

Biggest letdown of the summer
I waited months to see War of the Worlds. Let me say that the first thirty minutes of this movie is great. Great performances all around, and by now everyone knows that the special effects are some of the best ever seen. Then after thirty minutes the picture turned into....GARBAGE! Steven!! What has happened to you? You were at the top of your game. Then during A.I. you fell apart (except for Minority Report). I don't mind plot holes. But some of the holes in WOW are outlandish. I had heard how bad the ending was. But nothing prepared me for the stupidness of it. This is not the work of anyone with intelligence. Don't take my word for it, though. Spend your money, and you'll see for yourself.

Cinderella Man

May be the best film of the year (it is only May). Great performances by the entire cast. The boxing scenes are the best I've seen, and the emotional aspect of the story brings it all together. As a nation, I think we have forgotten what the depression of the thirties did to us. All the lives it ruined. This movie shows how one family was able to break out of all the squalor, and still remain a family unit. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from this movie. Russell Crowe, Renee Zellweger, and Paul Giamatti are all Oscar worthy. This movie has it all. It is Ron Howard's best film. Special note about the music score by Thomas Newman. It really drives the entire film with its Irish themes.

Van Helsing

Great Fun
If you go see Van Helsing as an adult you will not like this movie. You have to go in as a child. This is not a movie to make you think. It is simply grand entertainment. There are scary moments, but it is really bloodless movie making. No heads flying off, or blood squirting all over the place. The acting is as good as can be expected. The music by Alan Silvestri is superb. The effects are amazing. Van Helsing is meant to be pure entertainment. And on those terms it is great. I was really wondering how putting Dracula, Wolfman, and Frankenstein in the same picture was going to work out, but this mixture was great. Leave being an adult outside the theater. Go in as a kid and enjoy the ride.

The Matrix Revolutions

This is, plain and simple, not a very good movie. If CGI is your thing, then it will be great for you. At first I didn't get the ending. Then as I was driving hit me. This is a true story.

My computer needed an upgrade. So last week I took it to an expert. He destroyed the hard drive for me. I have all the ingredients for a great computer in my tower, but the stove just doesn't work (if you know what I mean). While watching the battle for Zion it dawned on me that those metal snakes were actually destroying my computer. And, although, Neo and Trinity, and Morpheus, and Moe, and Larry, and Curly were trying to save my machine, they failed. But someday my computer will be restored. And the sun will shine on my city again.

So there you have it. All the questions and answers were in front of me all the time. It just took my computer crashing to put it all together in my head.

Matrix Revolutions: 2/10

Realization: 10/10

Open Range

Great Western
One of the few movies this boring summer that met my expectations. This is the best western since Tombstone. Kevin Costner and Robert Duvall are as good as it gets in the acting department. The photography is superb, and Costner does a great job of directing. And although Annette Benning is very good, also, it is Michael Jeter that steals this movie. He should be Oscar nominated. Some of the reviews I've read have said that Costner is not a good actor. Well, we all have our opinions. Although some of his movies aren't great, he always gives a good performance. This is one of his best acting jobs. Low key until the end, he and Duvall play as if they are father and son. The respect they have for each other is up there on the screen. This movie takes its time, so sit back and enjoy. You'll have a damn good time.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

A great surprise!
Forget the so-so reviews and enjoy this non stop action film. Though not as great as T-2, this holds its own. The cast works well together, and the effects are fantastic. After the boring Hulk, this was a breath of fresh air. I do wish, however, that someone would do something original. I am getting tired of all these sequels.

Ahhhnald is back. Just talk to the hand.


Wonderful. But for all the wrong reasons!
You just can't make a good movie from a Stephen King novel. What he writes just doesn't seem to translate well on film. The horror comes off as something less than evil, and more laughable than anything else. That said, I have to say that Dreamcatcher is one of the most entertaining films of the year. Not because of the horror, but because Lawrence Kasden brings together relationships better than almost any director. You care about the four friends who are given a rare power by a rather strange young man they help when they are children. The cast is great, and Donnie Wahlberg will freak you out. Forget the reviews and leave reality outside the theater. The less you think about the holes in the plot, the better off you'll be. Enjoy the hell out of this movie. I did!

Punch-Drunk Love

The ads for this movie make it seem like one of Adam Sandlers comedies. It is not a comedy, although there is a lot of humor. It is about two sad and lonely people that understand each other. It is sweet. It is vicious. It is, above all else, like watching a train wreck. You just can't take your eyes off the screen. Adam Sandler and Emily Watson are great. Will this film make you happy? Hell no. Will it make you think? I did. The picture stayed with me for days. Will 90% of the people hate this movie? You betcha, baby. But for us 10% it is a pure joy. So if you're looking for something different, this right up your alley. All others should be directed to XXX (which I enjoyed, by the way) for their kicks.

Panic Room

Well worth the wait
After seeing the previews for months, it was good to finally see this picture. I judge this type of film by its dumbness factor. It was kept to a minimum. The cast was wonderful, and it really gets your gut churning. The audience we saw it with was on the edge of their seats the entire time. This is the best film of 2002 so far. Go to the bathroom before entering the theater. You don't want to miss a thing.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

Not a bad flick
I don't know a thing about the computer game. I never played it. My wife wanted to see this more than I did (although looking at Angelina Jolie for a couple of hours isn't all bad). I don't like Mummy movies all that much. But I have to admit I enjoyed the hell out of this movie. It is a no brainer with good acting, and great f/x. Half the time I didn't know what was going on, but it mostly made sense in some strange way. Also, it was great to see Angelina and her real dad Jon Voight on the screen together. It was a very touching scene.

So, leave your troubles at home and go see this popcorn movie. Don't think about it too much, and have a good time. I give it an 8 out of 10.

A.I. Artificial Intelligence

Boy did I cry!
I cried because this turned into one of the worst films of the year. What makes it even worse, is that it destroyed some of the best acting of the year. Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, and Teddy the bear were wonderful.

This movie is done in three parts. Part one is when we meet 'David', a robot boy adopted by a couple to take the place of a sick son who has been frozen until a cure is found for his ailment. Then the sick son returns and all hell breaks loose. This is the best part of the movie. All the emotions are there. The end of part one left a lump in my throat.

Part two is the journey of David trying to turn into a real boy and win back the love of his mom. He and Teddy the bear are left in the woods as the loving mom leaves them to fend for themselves. While on the road he meets up with Giggolo Joe, a real ladies man of a robot, and both are captured and taken to Flesh Fair, a place where robots are destroyed in an arena that is out of the WWF. I have no doubt that the world will turn into this kind of place. The images in part two are haunting. So far we're on the right track. This movie was sailing.

Then Spielberg lost his mind. Part three takes David and Teddy the bear on the final journey that will make him a real boy. Looking for the blue fairy. What a miscalculation. This turns into a cross between E.T. and Close Encounters. Why would Spielberg do such a thing? What was great in both of those movies, turns this one into a pile of crap. It's like having a great first date with the girl of your dreams, and finding out before that last blissful moment that she's really your uncle. Not a good surprise.

I do hope that Teddy the bear gets his own movie. He is a true friend, and deserves better.

One-Eyed Jacks

For years I have been waiting for a good print of this very fine western. Mandacy DVD has a version that is terrible. Then the other day I'm at Best Buy, and I see One-eyed Jacks in a widescreen version from Diamond Video on DVD. For $7.99!!! I figure, what-the-hell. I can always get my money back. It is a great transfer. It is the best money I have ever spent on a DVD. This is one of my favorite westerns. A real brooding film about revenge. Marlon Brando made this his only directing effort. To Bad. This is one of his best performances. If you've never seen it, treat yourself. You won't be sorry.

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